IT’S PRIDE MONTH!!! The best month of the year!!! In celebration, I’ve compiled a list of 12 amazing LGBTQ+ reads that are perfect if you’re looking to read the rainbow this month.
These are a mix of my personal favorites, plus some that I’m dying to read.
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Tanner Scott moved from California to Utah, and from being out of the closet as bisexual, to temporarily back in. He can’t wait to graduate and get out of Utah, but when his best friend convinces him to enroll in his high school’s prestigious Seminar class, where students attempt to draft a book in a semester, he meets Sebastian Brother.
Autoboyography has everything you could want in a YA contemporary, adorable romance, great family relationships, and memorable characters, however, what really makes it stand out to me is how well it handles religion.
“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Queens of Geek follows two perspectives. Taylor is a nerdy girl on the autism spectrum, and secretly in love with one of her best friends, Jamie. Charlie is a bisexual vlogger and actress promoting her next movie. When the three friends go to SupaCon, Charlie discovers her long-time crush on a fellow actress may not be unrequited, and Taylor must decide whether or not to keep playing it safe.
“You can’t pick and chose whose equality you support.”
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
On the off-chance you haven’t heard of this book, or the movie, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is about Simon Spier, a closeted teen in high school, who’s private emails to the anonymous “Blue” get discovered by one of his classmates. Simon will do anything to keep them from being shared, outing him and scaring Blue away.
This book is pretty hyped, but I had to include it on the list (however, if you’ve already read it but want more like it- check out What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera).
“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”
[Related: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (Review)]
Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars #1) by Audrey Coulthurst
Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since childhood, but she has a secret that could threaten the alliance. She possesses an Affinity for fire- but magic is forbidden in the prince’s kingdom. While trying to hide her magic, she must also learn the ways of Mynaria- including learning horseback riding from her betrothed’s sister, Mare. When an assassination shocks the kingdom, Mare and Denna must join forces to solve the puzzle, however, as their friendship grows into something more, conflicts grow that make the alliance between the two kingdoms crucial.
“An Affinity, much like a heart, cannot be changed.”
Ash by Malinda Lo
After her father dies, Ash is left with her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, she dreams of fairies stealing her away. Her wish is close to being granted when she meets the dangerous fairy Sidhean. However, then she meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, and their friendship reawakens her desire to live and love. Claimed by Sidhean, Ash is forced to choose between her dreams and her love.
I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read this book yet. However, it’s such a staple in the LGBTQ+ YA community that I had to include it here, and I’m really hoping to dive into it soon.
“To charge someone with love is a great responsibility; there will be an equal yet unexpected reaction.”
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1) by Mackenzi Lee
Monty has vowed that his Grand Tour of Europe will be a time for parties, gambling, and all of his favorite types of fun with his best friend and “the unrequited love of his life”, Percy. He’s determined to still enjoy it even though his younger sister joins him. However, the trip takes a turn when his reckless decisions lead to a manhunt across Europe, and threaten the relationship with the one person who matters most to him.
“I’ve always been of the mind that subtlety is a waste of time. Fortune favors the flirtatious.”
Once and Future (Once and Future #1) by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
I honestly can’t describe this better than the synopsis from Goodreads: “When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
“I think people need heroes. I think you’re a hero. It’s that simple to me.”
I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
Ben is thrown out of their house after coming out to their parents as nonbinary. Struggling with anxiety, Ben focuses on just surviving their new school, until Nathan decides to take Ben under his wing. As their friendship grows and develops into something more, Ben realizes they might have a chance at a new, better life.
“Guess we need to talk, huh? Because I can’t exactly call you my boyfriend, can I?”
I hadn’t even thought about that. “I guess not,” I say. “Is partner a little too cowboy for you?” I tip an imaginary cowboy hat. “Yee haw.”
Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale
Babe thought this summer would be dedicated to spending time with her friends before they leave for college, but when one mistake causes the three of them to break up, and her ex-girlfriend comes back to town, her chances of having the summer she dreamed about are slim. But when Levi arrives for the summer, Babe knows she shouldn’t get close to him. After all, he’ll be leaving come fall, but keeping her distance is becoming harder and harder.
“Because the strength of a lighthouse is from its being alone. From being a beacon of light in the darkness, a finger showing you which way is home.”
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
[Genre: YA Graphic Novel]
Prince Sebastian’s parents are looking for a bride for him. Sebastian, however, is too busy hiding his secret life, where he puts on daring dresses as Lady Crystallia. Frances is his secret dressmaker, but she her dreams are too bright to stay hidden. How long can she ignore them to help her friend?
“Some days I look at myself in the mirror and think, “That’s me, Prince Sebastian! I wear boy clothes and look like my father.’ Other days it doesn’t feel right at all. Those days I feel like I’m actually a princess.”
George by Alex Gino
[Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary]
“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.” When George’s teacher announces that their class will be putting on the play Charlotte’s Web, George dreams of playing Charlotte, but her teacher says she can’t try out for the part because she’s a boy. So George and her best friend come up with a plan, not only to play Charlotte, but to show the world who she truly is.
“George stopped. It was such a short, little question, but she couldn’t make her mouth form the sounds.
Mom, what if I’m a girl?”
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
[Genre: New Adult/Adult Romance]
Alex, First Son of the United States, has always hated Prince Henry. But when a confrontation between the two of them cause a stir in the press, he’s forced to fake a friendship with his nemesis. Except, Prince Henry isn’t what he thought. Alex must battle his mother’s political opponents, his own dreams of working in politics, and his growing feelings for the Prince he used to despise. However, a secret relationship with Henry could cause serious problems for his mothers reelection campaign, and Alex must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice.
“But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable.”
I’m hoping to read more LGBTQ+ books before this month ends (and just in general, because everyone’s life needs to be a little gayer), so do you have any recommendations?
What’s your favorite LGBTQ+ book?